Monthly Archives: November 2004

Strong stuff

Bosnia latest (from OHR website: Commenting on the revelation of Ratko Mladic’s personnel military file published in today’s press, the High Representative, Paddy Ashdown, said that the document indicates that the RS, through the VRS, had for a full seven … Continue reading

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Cooking

So, I bought this big chunk of boneless turkey at the supermarket yesterday. This evening I took a deep oven dish, lined the bottom of it with onions, olive oil, tarragon, and sage from the garden, put in the turkey, … Continue reading

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Counter

Trying to add a counter to this journal (which explains the change in style). Have submitted a support request, but any other help meantime is welcome!

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Top 50 sf films (from IMDB)

As usual, I’ve bolded the ones I’ve seen. 1. Star Wars (1977) – was actually on TV here last weekend, as good as ever. 2. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) – … Continue reading

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Пора

I see the US charge d’affaires has taken offence at Ian Traynor’s article on US involvement in the Ukrainian crisis in yesterday’s Guardian. I have to smile. For a start, Ambassador Johnson’s reaction is over-sensitive; Ian Traynor’s article is a … Continue reading

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Calendar

I’m attempting to get myself a bit more organised; who knows if this will work… This is me thinking out loud about my work schedule for next week. I’m most impressed by he way periodically posts his schedule – I … Continue reading

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November Books 10) Tears of the Giraffe

10) Tears of the Giraffe, by Alexander McCall Smith More light reading for me, sequel to The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Actually this is very light reading. The actual mystery is not very mysterious, and is resolved by our … Continue reading

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Birthday

Happy birthday ! (As far as I know you do read this from time to time.)

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An evening oop north

Anne and I went to the Hague last night for the last instalment of the wedding we attended back in April – part of the celebration that had been scaled back due to the death of ex-Queen Juliana in March. … Continue reading

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Ukraine

Following this with bated breath. Thanks to for reminding me to look at A Fistful of Euros for the latest news. And if you want to try reading about it in the original language, try .

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November Books 9) The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

9) The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith A really charming book, and I hope that the real Botswana is as friendly and laid-back as the Botswana portrayed here (I know that George Monbiot has harsher things … Continue reading

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Mouth ulcers update

Thanks very much again to everyone who made suggestions last week. In the end I didn’t try salt or Bonjela, both of which have failed me before, but I have been going for a combination of mint tea last thing … Continue reading

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The Gods Themselves

New review of Asimov’s classic The Gods Themselves on my website. Warning: contains sarcasm and negative comments.

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Birthday

I try and remember these earlier in the day, but happy birthday, !

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From 1. When did you first “friend” me? 2. Why did you first “friend” me? 3. What posts of mine do you like to read the best? 4. What would you like me to write about that I don’t? 5. … Continue reading

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The Great Vowel Shift

The definitive guide (thanks to Language Hat).

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November Books 8) Year’s Best SF 9

8) Year’s Best SF 9, ed. David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. Much the most interesting of the 2003 SF anthologies. The Dozois one remains definitive, and best value for money, and the Haber/Strahan one I found a bit disappointing. But … Continue reading

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Links seen – sovereignty and scholarship

Reflections on national sovereignty with interesting points on Belgium. Irresistible! The new Google Scholar.

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Minor success

Monday last week, we had a meeting at the EU Council Secretariat. Rather to our surprise the EU Special Representative to the South Caucasus, a grand (though jolly) Finnish ambassador, was there – we thought we were meeting only lowly … Continue reading

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More on being 37

37 is the most common age for people to write award-winning sf. 21 Hugo and Nebula awards have been made to authors for work published when they were 37-ish: Greg Egan, Oceanic (Hugo ’99) Allen Steele, “The Death of Captain … Continue reading

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Mouth ulcers

Anyone have a miracle cure for mouth ulcers? I know they usually go away after ten days but would appreciate advice on how to get rid of them sooner.

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Block

Bah. This 2000-word article was due in weeks ago, and I have written precisely 300 of them so far. Sore tongue. Mouth ulcer. Due to gritted teeth while driving 1500 km to Geneva and back, I suspect. Oh well. Office … Continue reading

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While nobody’s looking

The police in Abkhazia have mutinied.

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Geneva and languages

Just a few thoughts on the last couple of days, sparked by being rather tired and cradling baby on my lap while typing (as so often). I drove from here to Geneva on Saturday, and back on Monday. 780 km … Continue reading

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New Kosovo Prime Minister

The word on the street is that it will be Ramush Haradinaj, whose autobiography I read earlier this year. Interesting times lie ahead, especially if the war crimes tribunal in the Hague decides that they require his presence…

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Teaching American Gods in high school

Most of you will have seen this. But I thought it was interesting.

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Well, about six months ago, when I still had hopes of the European Commission job coming through, I applied for a vacancy in the European Parliament’s administrative staff. Rather to my surprise they got back to me last week, offering … Continue reading

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Years meme

20 years ago: 1. I was in long-distance love with S. (me in Belfast, her in Ponteland) 2. I was playing postal Diplomacy (my first serious fandom) 3. I was the Secretary of the Irish Astronomical Association 15 years ago: … Continue reading

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Links seen

Thanks to for a history of Britain under Robin Cook. Things are hotting up in Abkhazia. (“Where?” I hear you ask. edit: link corrected!) Am off to Geneva shortly until Monday; I’ve decided to drive, just for variety. Blogging may … Continue reading

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An old friend came to visit us yesterday. A contemporary of ours at Cambridge, he has spent the last fifteen years since graduation not really doing much; got a Master’s degree after several years of nothing, now has a ten-year-old … Continue reading

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